Walled Unwalled
by Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Germany 2018, 30'
SHOOTING: Flyawayfilmsnyc   SOUND: Shakeeb Abu Hamdan
PHOTOGRAPHY: Jarred Alterman   LANGUAGE: VO: English; Sub: Italian
EDITING: Jarred Alterman    

Schermo dell'Arte - Archivio Film
  Presented at Lo schermo dell'arte 2019

 In the Funkhaus, a former East German radio station’s sound effects studio in Berlin,
Jordanian artist and sound researcher Lawrence Abu Hamdan stages a video performance
of three legal cases linked by sound: how it is perceived by the human ear when the listener is separated from the source by a physical barrier. Key witnesses in the cases were questioned about what they’d heard, since walls separated them from the crime scene. In the murder trial against South African runner Oscar Pistorius, a neighbor described the screams of the victim, model Reeva Steenkamp, in the courtroom. Hamdan uses a digital acoustic model to visually reconstruct the crime scene. Steenkamp’s bathroom wall becomes an elastic membrane that deforms under the sonic pressure of a human voice. Hamdan establishes the extension of the sound of the victim’s screams, proving that, even if he was on the other side of the wall and couldn’t see her, Pistorius could unquestionably recognize her voice. His statement that he shot an unknown assailant is rendered unreliable. As soundrelated technology becomes more sophisticated, impenetrable walls cease to exist.
Lawrence Abu Hamdan 
Born in 1985 in Amman, he lives in Beirut. The artist’s investigations in the field of sound are part of his research for Forensic Architecture. They’ve been presented as evidence at the UK immigration court, and in support of organizations such as Amnesty International. In 2017 his film Rubber Coated Steel won the Tiger short film award at the Rotterdam International Film Festival. In 2019 Hamdan was nominated for the Turner Prize with his show Earwitness Theater and the performance After Six. His works are in the collections of MoMA, Guggenheim, Center Pompidou and Tate Modern.

Selected Filmography:
2016 Rubber Coated Steel 2014 The All-Hearing

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